Happy Birthday, Roy! Veteran celebrates 95th birthday with parade


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Tuesday was a special day for a Johnson City veteran.

Roy Collins, a resident at Brookdale Senior Living, sat among a boquet of balloons as his birthday parade passed him by. Each car brought more tidings, gifts and love than the last.

Collins turned 95 on Tuesday, and it was the first time he’d seen his family members in person since March.

Roy Collins prepares for a birthday parade to celebrate his 95th birthday.

His daughter, Debbie Collins, lead the charge of about 10 cars that each passed by with a “Happy Birthay”. Brookdale Senior Living has hosted several birthday parades since the pandemic, as precautions shut down long-term care facilies in an effot to keep COVID-19 away from vulnerable populations.

As her father’s birthday approach, Collins said she wasn’t sure if she’d get to celebrate it with her father.

“I had seen online some people doing some really creative things and so this parade was a great idea because we have people locally that love Daddy,” she said.

Guests bring treats and gifts to Roy for his 95th birthday party parade.

Collins said she and her other siblings have been able to keep in touch with Roy through Facetime, and more recently they’ve been allowed visits as long as the visits are separated by a window.

But Tuesday was a special time for she and the rest of the family to celebrate, even through the precuations of a pandemic.

“I think all of us should celebrate each birthday as if maybe it’s our last, but especially when you get in your ’90s,” she said. “That’s a gift, it’s almost a miracle sometimes.”

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